Family Law

Specialist Areas

"Spire Barristers is a notable set with particular expertise in all matters related to children, ranging from public to private children law. Its members are respected for their advice in highly sensitive cases such as those involving sexual and physical abuse, fabricated and induced illnesses and child removals. The cases often involve lengthy evidence and medical assessments. The set further benefits from having two leading silks, and its members regularly act for parents, intervenors and local authorities." - Chambers & Partners 2022

Spire Barristers are Family Law specialists who provide expert legal advice and representation in a wide range of Family Law matters. We are approachable and understand the client’s needs and concerns at the heart of every case. We ensure that our solicitors and lay clients are reassured throughout the court process, and also, without exception, ensure there is a robust presentation of their case in court.

As the circuit’s only specialist family law set, Spire Barristers is home to a strong contingent of experienced family barristers. Key areas of work include cases concerning non-accidental injuries, sexual abuse, accusations of coaching, and fabricated or induced illnesses.

Our Family Law barristers have a wealth of experience and expertise in all aspects of Family Law, including:

  • Public Law Children
  • Private Law Children
  • Matrimonial Finance
  • Cohabitation, Civil Partnerships and Agreements
  • Private Client (Trusts, Inheritance and Property)
  • Mediation and Arbitration
  • Injunctions
  • International Child Abduction

In addition, where a child needs the protection of the Court outside of statutory proceedings, members of the team have experience in Wardship and other Inherent Jurisdiction (High Court) matters.

Spire Barristers are also well versed and experienced in Forced Marriage applications.

Members of Spire Barristers are recognised as national experts in the field of family law and provide a ‘first-class service‘ to its clients. Taryn Lee QC is ‘the go-to silk for complex children work in the North East‘, frequently acting in high-profile cases and over the past 16 months has also been involved in four cases regarding significant alleged peadophile rings. New silk and joint head of chambers, Jacqui Thomas QC specialises in complex cases relating to death, serious injury, or sexual assault against children. At the junior end, Sarah Blackmore acts for a variety of parties such as local authorities, parents, and children in cases involving non-accidental injury and sexual abuse; Elizabeth Shaw is a go-to for deprivation of liberty and claims involving sexual abuse. The future of the set looks bright with rising stars Reagan Persaud and Ashley Lord highly recommended by instructing solicitors. – Legal 500 2021

All members of chambers are highly skilled with a vast range of experience and knowledge in their field. They appear in all levels of the Family Court including the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Where necessary, our team of Family barristers can advise on claims against the Local Authority and Judicial Review applications. These include issues such as the payment of Residence and Special Guardianship Allowances and whether or not Local Authorities are meeting their statutory duties.

International Child Abduction Cases are frequently undertaken by members of chambers.

All members of Spire Barristers are Public Access Accredited including our Silks and all regularly undertake complex cases on a Public Access basis.

Pro Bono

Deserving cases are undertaken on a pro bono basis, as members of chambers believe that the huge cuts to public funding should not deny access to justice for the most vulnerable in society.


Jacqueline Thomas and Sarah Blackmore are the authors of ‘Family Justice Reformed – Developments since the Children’s & Families Act 2014 (previously known as Reforming Family Justice) published by Lexis Nexis – Jordan Publishing Ltd (Family Law)

This is an authorative guide to the Family Court, with contributions from Taryn Lee QC, the President of the Family Division Sir James Munby and Sir Ernest Ryder – Senior President of Tribunals.

Family Law Newsletter

The fortnightly Family Law Newsletter, edited by Sarah Blackmore and Jacqueline Thomas, provides the latest and most up to date news, statistics and case reviews in Family Law. Going strong since 2011 and with an ever growing readership, the service has proved a popular and reliable resource with professionals in the field.

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Please do not hesitate to contact one of our Family Clerks


All members of chambers are highly skilled, with a vast range of experience and knowledge in their field. They appear in all levels of the Family Court including the High Court, Court of Appeal & Supreme Court.